PURPOSE: To report the levels of pigment epithelium-derived factor in the vitreous of patients with diabetic retinopathy, rhegmatogenous retinal detachment, and idiopathic macular hole. METHODS: Using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, we measured the levels of pigment epithelium-derived factor in the vitreous of 34 eyes of 33 patients who underwent vitrectomy for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy (17 eyes of 16 patients), rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (10 eyes), and idiopathic macular hole (seven eyes). RESULTS: The vitreal concentration of pigment epithelium-derived factor was 1.15 ± 0.23 μg/ml (mean ± standard error) in eyes with diabetic retinopathy, 3.28 ± 0.69 μg/ml in rhegmatogenous retinal detachment, and 1.71 ± 0.39 μg/ml in idiopathic macular hole. The pigment epithelium-derived factor level in rhegmatogenous retinal detachment was significantly higher than that in diabetic retinopathy (P = .0008) and idiopathic macular hole (P = .034). For eyes with diabetic retinopathy, the pigment epithelium-derived factor level was 0.88 ± 0.21 μg/ml in proliferative diabetic retinopathy and 2.43 ± 0.37 μg/ml in nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (P = .0083). Additionally, the pigment epithelium-derived factor level in active diabetic retinopathy (0.70 ± 0.22 μg/ml) was significantly lower than the level in inactive diabetic retinopathy (1.79 ± 0.35 μg/ml; P = .018). CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that pigment epithelium-derived factor inhibits angiogenesis and that lower levels of pigment epithelium-derived factor may be related to the angiogenesis in diabetic retinopathy and result in active proliferative diabetic retinopathy. The results also suggest that higher levels of pigment epithelium-derived factor in the eyes with rhegmatogenous retinal detachment may act as a neuroprotective agent for the detached retina.
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